* Sneak peek

Thanks to the reader who sent me this link:

Poor people aren’t stupid; bad decisions are from being overwhelmed, study finds

I am preparing a substantial response and should have it ready to publish a few weeks from now.  In the meantime, I thought others might be interested in the original article.

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* The Parable of the Talents

Matthew 25:

14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

24 “Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

26 “But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’[”]

On the one hand, I don’t believe Jesus ever said these words. (Link) On the other hand, I firmly believe in the principles expressed, and will have occasion to refer to this text many times.

My record cannot be expunged

Yesterday I researched expungement in Maryland.  My conviction was in mid-October 2010, and I’d understood one could get a misdemeanor expunged after three years, so I was hoping to take care of that now.  Turns out there is no expungement of any guilty verdict, except in the case of any of a long list of truly trivial nuisance crimes, e.g. urinating in public or not paying one’s fare on the subway.  To clear my record, I must apply for a pardon, for which I become eligible only after five years of being arrest-free after the end of probation (Oct. 2011).  The paperwork is extensive.  One’s application must include copies of one’s high school and college diplomas, any discharge from bankruptcy, and certified copies of one’s driving record from any state in which one has ever had a license (as in my case, Ohio until 1978).

So for the time being, until October 2016, my one (1) misdemeanor conviction will continue to bar me from employment with many of Maryland’s largest employers.

Previous post:  Hiring discrimination and “backgrounds”
 

* Jacob’s ladder 08/14/13

Prayer for myself often takes the form of imagining myself climbing up a ladder out of a pit, the pit being my current circumstances of poverty and homelessness.  Getting out at the top represents a return to the normal life of the American mainstream.  I didn’t start with a ladder in there, but I decided to add one to symbolize the various structures and tools that others have made available to me — and eliminate the possibility of clawing at loose earth.

Here begins a list of “rungs” on the ladder that I’ve become aware I need to “overcome.”  Each one takes effort, exertion, to get over. I will update this list from time to time as I learn of others.

 1. Fear of the unknown.  See From my diary: Learning to pray.
 2. Jealousy of others who seem to be prospering more quickly than I am.  Details here.
 3. Times of despair.  I guess, from time to time, they’ll happen.  Details here.
 4. Incidents of utter selfishness.  Details here.
 5. Moments of unusual hardship and sacrifice. Details here.
 6. Cut loose the losers. Continue reading

News roundup 08/03/13 – Home-schooled = Un-schooled? etc.

Links within this post, to the headlines:
Home-schooled = Un-schooled?
Baltimore City Schools’ BELL program
Exclusive: 4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work
Sexting: How typical is Anthony Weiner’s behavior?
2 ‘Real Housewives of NJ’ stars charged with fraud


Student’s home-schooling highlights debate over Va. religious exemption law

“By the time he was 16, [Josh Powell] had never written an essay. He didn’t know South Africa was a country. He couldn’t solve basic algebra problems.”

He took three years of remedial courses at a community college before obtaining admission to Georgetown at age 21.

“Most of all, he worries about his siblings: There are 11. One, old enough to be well into middle school, can’t read, Josh Powell said.”

City’s summer school program sees results

This is at the diametric pole from the just-previous item. See also the previous post, D.C. to implement 9th-grade rescue plan.

Exclusive: 4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work

I don’t need to comment on that.

Sexting: How typical is Anthony Weiner’s behavior?

This quote struck me:

” ‘ In the case of Anthony Weiner, and other partnered people who sext with non-partners, it strikes me as a kind of pornography, where the drive is toward excited, impersonal sex rather than true intimacy.

” ‘ With Weiner, it’s a case of pornography meets narcissism. ‘ ”

Some folk may be incapable of “true intimacy,” but I don’t see how a life of strictly “excited, impersonal sex” can bring real gratification.

2 ‘Real Housewives of NJ’ stars charged with fraud

As little as I know about Joe and Teresa Giudice, it seems to me this could not have happened to a more deserving couple.

I take some gratification from this news, in that rarely in this life do I really feel I see justice done.

I anticipate having a lot to say about this in the future.

* Treasures in heaven

One of my buds came into McDonald’s this morning looking for me. I’d not seen him in about a week.  He’s in really good shape today, but it turns out that, as I’d supposed, he’d been on a bender.

We went out front to smoke and talk, and the time came for him to get on his way. I expected him to turn to go back upstairs to get his stuff. He did not. “Where’s your stuff?” I asked.

He’d lost it. Again. Everything. Kept only his I.D. and Independence card. Somewhere, sometime, while blacked out, he’d got up and left wherever he’d been, leaving behind all his belongings in a forgotten place.

In my immediately last prior post, “Me, me, me,” I said:

It’s not that I despised material possessions; I did not value them nearly as much as I (overwhelmingly) valued relationships.  What I did despise was the desire for material possessions.  As a result, now I have none.

Relationships are what I do have.  They are my treasures in heaven.

on air talent, talk show host, radio talk show, the homeless blogger